HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Support local Connecticut Vineyards. That’s the message from Governor Dannel Malloy. Connecticut has 37 wineries that grow their and grapes. The Governor is encouraging nutmeggers and visitors alike to support the Passort to Connecticut Farm Wineries Program, the state’s annual promotion with incentives to visit local businesses.
“This is a great time of year to visit a vineyard, and Connecticut is a great destination for people looking to explore quality, farm wineries,” Governor Malloy said. “We have more than three dozen vineyards that produce a number of high-quality wines. Our state’s Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries program offers folks a perfect opportunity to explore the diversity that each of our unique farm wineries have to offer.”
To participate, guests can obtain a booklet – which was designed to look like an actual passport – at any of the state’s 37 farm wineries. Each time they visit a new winery during the season, they should bring the passport with them and have it stamped. Once they have obtained at least 16 stamps, they can enter to win a number of prizes, including a two-week trip to Spain.
A complete listing of Connecticut’s wineries and additional information is available at www.passporttoctfarmwine.com
Participants must be at least 21 years of age and can only submit one passport per person in the drawing. The program is operated by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and runs from May 5 to November 5, 2017. The drawing will be held on December 7, 2017.
“This program really highlights the diversity of what each of our unique farm wineries has to offer,” Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky said. “It’s a great way to promote the hard work of our growers and to encourage visitors to make these wineries a destination.”
Participants can also have their passport stamped at the annual Connecticut Wine Festival weekend, which runs July 22 to 23, 2017 at the Goshen Fairgrounds.
Over 60,000 passports were distributed under the program last year, helping to generate an estimated $1 million in direct sales for the wineries, and at least an equal amount in economic activity from participants visiting restaurants and other venues in the area. It is estimated that more than 160,000 gallons of wines were produced in Connecticut during 2016 – accounting for more than 800,000 bottles of local wine.